The important role of the department manager

December 21, 2023

Fresh Produce should be a ‘beacon’ in the store, attracting and exciting consumers of all ages. We look at the role of the fresh produce department manager.

The awarding of the inaugural prize to the winner of the “Most Beautiful Fruit and Vegetable Department Contest” gives us the opportunity to take a closer look at the role of the department manager.

Responsible for the supply, presentation and performance of his department, the department manager must be multi-skilled managing daily demands for planning, execution, reactivity, creativity and much more! Furthermore they must be conversant with a wide range of diverse topics including the marketplace, consumption, environmental factors and economic imperatives.


A well-managed department meets the direct and indirect needs of consumers. In the current climate, and often with decreasing purchasing power, it is vital to guarantee a high quality, attractive and affordable product offer in order to meet or exceed consumer expectations.

Steven Michel from E.Leclerc in St Nazaire, tells us that "we do see the impact of inflation, not only in sales but also while managing my purchases".

Stephen goes on to explain how he manages this by offering local and seasonal produce, inspiring consumers by presenting them with choice, whilst at the same time stimulating their interest with recipes and ‘fascinating facts’ that will grab their attention. He thus enhances the perceived value of the products and so reduces maintenance or increases sales.


Presentation is key, hence the ongoing interest in, and success of the ‘Jeu Concours’ contest.

Having a ‘beacon’ stand of lively, colorful and fragrant fruit and vegetable that is beautifully and innovatively presented will always attract customers. When this is combined with Stephen’s approach to quality, choice and information, sales can be maintained and grown even in the toughest market.

The best ‘beacon’ stands create a seasonal or topical drama that will draw consumers into the area by playing on sporting or seasonal themes. They will attract and educate the consumer and enhance the value of the fresh produce being presented. They will also stimulate interest with children; one should never under-estimate the value of ‘pester power’!

The 2022 competition (Jeu Concours)

In 2022, more than 250 stores participated in the ‘Jeu Concours’ event, which honored fruits and vegetables in three categories: "Apples", "Halloween" and "Autumn Vegetables".  Between September 29 and December 5, more than 900 shelf displays were shared, generating more than 800,000 impressions on social networks. It was a great opportunity for the department managers and their teams to let their imagination run wild and inspire their colleagues and, above all, to thrill their customers!

Steven Michel and his team at E. Leclerc in St Nazaire won the first prize in the competition for the most beautiful F&V department, Autumn Vegetables category.

Our contribution

Fully aware of today's challenges, Consentio offers innovative digital solutions that meet the needs of all levels of the value chain. These solutions are very easy to use and implement, and can be accessed from any device including phone, tablet, and laptop.

The solutions provide instant information supporting rapid and informed decision-making. Consentio facilitates the daily life of the department manager by helping with the management of purchases and communication with direct suppliers. By providing greater visibility of the produce on offer, Consentio promotes quick and impactful decision-making.

By removing much of the daily mundane ‘drudgery’ of the role, it allows the department manager to focus on other more important aspects of his job.

Steven Michel talks here about his work as a department manager.

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